Get a taste for interior design in your kitchen

Whether you’re looking for traditional elegance or a sleek contemporary finish, the kitchen is always the heart of the home.

That's why it's so important to get the design just right. We’ve spoken to a team of interior designers who work hard to create all sorts of inspirational kitchen designs for showhomes on new developments. Some of their expert tips for creating a range of different kitchen looks are summarised below.

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Contemporary and practical

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Combining contrasting finishes for kitchen units – such as polished wood and gloss white as seen here – is a great way of introducing natural textures, while maximising light. The smooth doors are easy to wipe clean too.

A beautiful solid worktop is lovely to touch as well as look at, and while it’s quite a big investment, it’s well worth it for the pleasure it will bring for years to come.

Don’t forget that your personal possessions are what make a room your own. The quirky vintage scales in this kitchen add real character to the overall design.

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Traditional with a twist

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It’s no surprise that cream continues to be a popular choice for kitchen units – warm, calm and comforting, it gives a cosy and traditional feel to the room.

Careful use of colour can really pull a design together. Vibrant purple shades are particularly effective against the elegant neutral tones in this room and give a modern twist to the traditional stainless steel toaster, bread bin and storage caddies. The violet theme is also picked up in the dining area’s beautiful patterned curtains.

Remember that tiling doesn’t have to follow a traditional chequerboard arrangement. These rectangular floor tiles look great in an overlapping pattern.

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Stylish storage solutions

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Making sure there’s enough space for storage is essential when planning a kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling units make such fantastic use of space – and look fabulous too.

Deep drawers are popular in contemporary schemes and they’re ideal for storing big pans as well as other bulky kitchen gadgets, which otherwise can end up unused at the back of cupboards.

Clever lighting can make all the difference to a design, and plinth spotlights as seen in this kitchen add an extra dimension to the room.

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Cosmopolitan luxury

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Cool and sophisticated, there’s nothing quite like the combination of natural wood and gloss black units to evoke a sense of cosmopolitan luxury. 

A breakfast bar is a great way to add extra worktop space and is ideal for those who enjoy cooking and entertaining guests at the same time. Practical and hardwearing, the dark satin finish complements the dark units.

Fresh herbs liven up any windowsill and they’re easy to grow. A sturdy stainless steel pot is the perfect contrast to vivid green leaves.

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Light and airy

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A traditional effect is created with these simple white Shaker-style cabinets. The glazed garden door adds to the light and spacious feel.

A beautiful natural wooden worktop continues the period-inspired design and is complemented by the attractive wood-effect flooring.

Well-chosen accessories, such as the corner shop-style scales, traditional storage containers and ceramic mixing bowl, are an affordable way to enhance an overall theme.

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Country house kitchen

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This spacious kitchen/dining room epitomises country house living, with its white Shaker-style units and pale lemon yellow decor.

Floral soft furnishings are essential to achieve this look but can be impractical in a kitchen. Here, a floral Roman blind picks up the yellow scheme and offers a neat alternative to draping curtains.

Just looking at these traditional home-baking accessories – a copper preserving pan, wicker basket and glass cake stand – prompts a warm nostalgic glow.

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